The Tampa Bay Times’ Kathleen McGrory reports, “The state education department tried to distance itself from the controversial Common Core State Standards last week by recommending changes to the benchmarks and giving them a new name. ‘The proposed standards are truly our own,’ Deputy Chancellor Mary Jane Tappen said during a Tuesday workshop on the freshly named ‘Florida Standards’.”
Is this Florida’s attempt in an gubernatorial election year to put lipstick on a pig named Common Core?
“’At their heart, the standards in Florida are still Common Core standards,’ said Anne Hyslop, a policy analyst with New America Foundation’s Education Policy Program, noting that many of the proposed changes are minor. Hyslop added: ‘The rebranding and messaging is largely political,'” writes McGrory.
Everyday new revelations about the Common Core State Standards are hitting the news wire. Just in the past week Breitbard reported that “Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) seemed to hint this week that his state would drop the Common Core standards, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) gave a clear signal Thursday that she was determined to drop the new education initiative that has grown intensely controversial.”
Breitbart’s Susan Berry reported, “A Common Core-aligned elementary school homework assignment in a Jefferson County, Colorado school district tells children that by 2512, Kansas will be an oceanfront state, that the ‘Smokey’ Mountains [sic] will become the ‘Smokey’ Islands [sic], and that a sharp decline in the human population will take place, all due to man-made global warming. According to Complete Colorado, the assignment, labeled as ‘Common Core Comprehension Grade 5,’ given at the Fremont Elementary School, is identified as a science fiction exercise in reading comprehension, but in ‘no part of the material, including a sheet of follow-up questions’ is there ‘any critical thinking ‘pushback’ against the narrative provided in the exercise.’”
Even George will in January 15th Washington Post column titled “Doubts over Common Core” notes, “Nevertheless, what begins with mere national standards must breed ineluctable pressure to standardize educational content. Targets, metrics, guidelines and curriculum models all induce conformity in instructional materials. Washington already is encouraging the alignment of the GED, SAT and ACT tests with the Common Core. By a feedback loop, these tests will beget more curriculum conformity. All of this will take a toll on parental empowerment, and none of this will escape the politicization of learning like that already rampant in higher education.”
Governor Rick Scott and the Florida legislature should be forearmed because they are now forewarned. Putting lipstick on this pig will get you stuck in the mud, with the pig.